updated 01:38 am EDT, Thu September 19, 2013
Predicts 2.5 million iPhone 5s, three million iPhone 5c
Analyst Gene Munster of Piper Jaffray believes Apple will break the record set by the iPhone 5 during its launch weekend a year ago, and will sell somewhere between five and six million iPhones in the first three days of availability, which begins on Friday. This would put the company on track to sell as many as 20 percent more units than when the iPhone 5 launched, and includes both pre-orders and retail sales estimates. The original iPhone, released in 2007 to long line-ups, took 74 days to sell its first million units.
Munster breaks down his prediction by saying that he believe Apple will record 2.5 million sales of the iPhone 5s, most of which will come from retail as that particular model hasn't been available for preorder. However, in China and Hong Kong customers could make "reservations" for them (and as a result, all the reserved stock in the country quickly sold out). Another three million will come from iPhone 5c sales, with two-thirds of sales coming from retail rather than preorder, AppleInsider reports.
China, Munster believes, will account for 10 to 15 percent of first-weekend sales all by itself. The country has joined the ranks of "launch day countries" for the first time this year, and indications of sellouts of both iPhone 5s and at least some colors of the iPhone 5c suggest that sales there will be strong. He added that if Apple doesn't announce first-weekend sales sometime next week, it would indicate that the company fell short of the iPhone 5 record from a year ago.
Despite believing that supplies of the two new iPhone models will be constrained at retail, Munster feels confident that the company has put out at least as much stock into distribution channels as it did in 2012, making it plausible that the 5M iPhone 5 opening weekend record could fall. Shortages should thus be a sign that demand has increased significantly, he reasons.